Bingo to world dance: seniors to get moving

Heart Foundation's Active Australia Innovation Challenge gets seniors moving

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FULL HOUSE: Victorian community health service, Improving and Promoting Community Health (IPC Health) will use the money to develop a modified game of bingo called BinGo Move for the over-65s in the Wyndham LGA in south-west Melbourne. Photo: Shutterstock

FULL HOUSE: Victorian community health service, Improving and Promoting Community Health (IPC Health) will use the money to develop a modified game of bingo called BinGo Move for the over-65s in the Wyndham LGA in south-west Melbourne. Photo: Shutterstock

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An 'exercise bingo' game, cultural dance workshops for people with vision loss and fitness programs for Parkinson's carers are all winners.

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An 'exercise bingo' game for over-65s, cultural dance workshops for people with vision loss and group exercise programs for carer's of people with Parkinson's disease and CALD seniors living in high-rise housing estates.

These are four winning community projects which have each been given a $10,000 boost to help Aussies get more active.

There were a total of 10 winners in the Heart Foundation's Active Australia Innovation Challenge, with more than 300 entries received from across the country.

The challenge invited tertiary institutions, schools, councils and other organisations to submit innovative ideas for getting people moving.

Victorian community health service, Improving and Promoting Community Health (IPC Health) will use the money to develop a modified game of bingo called BinGo Move for the over-65s in the Wyndham LGA in south-west Melbourne.

Statistics show this age group has low physical activity levels, worsened by COVID-19. Games will be online via Zoom, allowing people to participate from home and prizes will include drink bottles, pedometers and gym passes to encourage further physical activity.

Also in Melbourne, senior public housing estate residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Collingwood will be targeted in a new high-rise health program organised by Belgium Avenue Neighbourhood House - a community organisation which operates Neighbourhood Houses on the Collingwood and North Richmond Public Housing Estates.

The senior program will include weekly activities such as walks, yoga and meditation and will run alongside a separate women's-only exercise initiative for young Muslim women.

Both programs will be delivered by local estate residents, with support from health professionals and community-development workers.

In South Australia Summit Health is putting the $10,000 grant towards setting up its Move n Care group exercise program for carers of people with Parkinson's disease in the Adelaide Hills.

The carers themselves will design the program, with input from a registered nurse and the coordinator of the local Parkinson's disease support group.

And in what is believed to be an Australian first, Blind Sport & Recreation Victoria will host cultural dance workshops for people who are blind and vision impaired.

The Vision for Dance Through Music sessions will include an introduction to each culture - for example, Aboriginal, African and Greek - and an easy-to-follow dance lesson. The workshops will be conducted both in person and via Zoom, allowing participation by people in regional and remote areas. A Blind Sport & Recreation Victoria trainer will provide audio descriptions and guidance during the dance classes.

Heart Foundation Group chief executive, Adjunct Professor John Kelly said nearly six in 10 Australian adults, three quarters of seniors and over eight in 10 children and young people are not active enough for good heart health.

"This is concerning, given physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease, which continues to be the single leading cause of death in this country. Heart disease claims an Australian life every 29 minutes," Professor Kelly said.

"Through the Active Australia Innovation Challenge, we're supporting community-based initiatives that will encourage Aussies to get more active and live a healthier lifestyle. A big congratulations to all the grant recipients, with whom we will be working closely to bring their projects to life."

The other winners include:

  • Ashfield Public School in NSW which is building a horizontal climbing wall to help improve students' fitness, muscle strength and hand-eye coordination.
  • Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in the Northern Territory which is organising colour fun runs in nine remote Aboriginal communities.
  • In Coolgardie, WA, the Getting Active on Country project is a series of skateboarding and scooting workshops - which will be run by Millennium Kids, for children aged six to 17.
  • Kaurna Plains Children Centre, SA, will launch a Kids Out on Country project in Adelaide's northern suburbs with a focus on supporting Aboriginal families. Families will be invited to join weekly group outings to national and conservation parks outside the urban area with an Aboriginal guide.
  • Special Olympics Australia will provide specialised training, resources and staff at four Victorian primary schools to help include more physical activities for children with intellectual disabilities or autism as part of the Inclusive Sports in Schools (Victoria) project.
  • The University of Newcastle in NSW will launch it's new Muscle Movers physical activity program for primary school children, to be run by classroom teachers. Tdevelopment of program resources, along with a pilot study delivered in two schools located in low-income areas of Newcastle.

The Active Australia Innovation Challenge is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. The challenge will run annually for four years between 2018 and 2021.

www.healthfoundation.org.au

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